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Old 08-13-2008, 10:07 AM
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Default The curing process...I may be confused

Can someone explain the curing process to me a little better?

As I build the progressively larger fires, do I try to maintain the heat for a period of time, long enough for all of the bricks to warm up?

I built fire #2 last night, added a few small peices of wood to the newspaper. It didn't last very long. I started to think that perhaps I should have continued to add some small peices of wood to heat the oven all the way through- controlling how hot it gets by only adding small slivers of wood to maintain the small fire size.
I put my hand on the floor near the opening after the fire went out (took maybe 7 min) and the bricks we're hardly even warm.

What's the secret to a proper cure?
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2008, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

The way I think about it is that you are drying to "bake out" the water from your bricks, concrete, vermiculite concrete, and mortar without getting that water so hot that it makes steam -- which causes cracks and stress.

Too low and slow and you don't actually bake the water out.
Too hot and fast and you make steam.

The FB curing instructions call for long low fires starting at 300F, and going up in 50F increments each day.

Helpful?
James
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

I guess what I'm wondering is, do I build a fire to 300 degrees and try to maintain 300 degrees for a period of time so all of the bricks are 300 degrees or should the fire peak at 300 degrees and then burn itself out.

I don't have a thermometer yet...so I'm sort of guessing at the temp. I'm going to buy one of your sweet laser thermo's- but one expense at a time.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

Get it to 300F and keep adding small bits of wood to hold it there -- as long as you can; all day.

Try this. Turn your regular oven to 300F and stick your hand in it. Count seconds (or Mississippi's) to see how long it takes for your hand to get hot. Then, use your hand as a temperature gauge.

And it's free. :-)

Just don't to that at 800F when you are baking pizzas.
James
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

Gotcha. I have a day job, so I can't do it all day! But I can certainly do it for a few hours tonight. Thanks for the clarification.

Good idea with the sticking your hand in the oven method, hopefully my reflexes are still good...can't wait to explain to the kids how sticking your hand in the oven can actually be a good thing.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breven View Post
..can't wait to explain to the kids how sticking your hand in the oven can actually be a good thing.
Aren't wood ovens fun.

Just start it after you get home from work and try to keep it going all evening -- if you can.

James
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

Thanks James...I'll do that.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

I burned curing fire #7 yesterday, burned for about 4 hours and got up to a little over 900F before I decided to let it burn down. Snapped an ugly photo of the ceiling begining to turn white which was right around 750-800 F. (according to my newly purchased infared thermometer). THis morning, before heading to work- the oven floor was 265F and the ceiling was 322F, no door.
Need to tidy up a few things tonight, which will finish off the enclosure- then I plan to cook my first pizza on Saturday...yahhooo!
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

cool seeing the dome go white!
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: The curing process...I may be confused

It's totally cool. Everyone here on the forum gets it...but my wife thinks I have completley lost my mind. Everytime I've hit a milestone, I get all excited...yell at the wife to come check it out. "Honey, check it out...the ceilings turning white!" She looks at me, like I just mubled something in a foreign language..."that's nice". I bet she'll be excited when I'm cooking a sweet homemade pizza dinner on Saturday night...
I have an idea. When she tells me what she wants on her pizza, I'll tell her "that's nice".
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